Child's nervous system : ChNS : official journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery vol:13 issue:7 pages:369-74
To treat progressive posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus we used early external ventricular drainage (EVD) in 14 premature infants. We think it is important that the catheters in these critically ill infants be inserted in the neonatal intensive care unit, allowing us to keep the infants in an extremely stable environment. Only after prolonged external ventricular drainage (on average 38.4 days) is a ventriculoperitoneal shunt considered, preferably when the child has reached a body weight of 2000 g. There were no infections or other severe drainage-related problems. We report mean daily EVD volumes (which are related to body weight) and EVD duration. The 14 patients included 9 who required permanent shunting. Comparing the mortality, morbidity and follow-up data to at least 3 months of age in this group with similar data for an earlier cohort treated with lumbar punctures and late permanent shunting, we demonstrate the safety of the policy we have recently adopted.